Just over ten years ago, in 2007, the Cru Bourgeois ranking system was in tatters. The system brought in to give consumers a better view of the great and the good of the red wines of the Médoc (outside the 1855 classifications) was at breaking point. Legal battles, rumours of nepotism by ruling councils, and even bribery had some Châteaux crying foul and walking away. How did it get to that?
Before the great and the good of British bloggers and journalists descended, Olivier asked to borrow me for a quick video…needless to say I didn’t expect to go where it did…
WARNING – It’s in french. Well…Oilvier’s bit is in french, mine’s in shit french 🙂
Finishing off this week’s round up of 2017 with April’s trip out to Bordeaux for the annual En Primeur tasting. Basically you all drive around different Chateau drinking young and unfinished wine and make up a load of guff about how amazing it’ll be in a few years. Honest to god, that’s roughly it. I don’t get it as a system, but hey ho. It’s still a great week to meet up with people and see what’s what in magical Bordeaux!
APRIL: Primeurs samples in Bordeaux
“I work for a Bordeaux specialist wine company, so April is always about Primeurs to one extent or another. I’m still not sure I agree with the idea of it, but everyone else does it, so sod it, let’s try make the best of it, they do serve some stunners at the lunches.
The 2016 vintage we were trying was another top vintage for Bordeaux (good job given the volume problem for 2017), but one of the better experiences was Millesima’s Primeur Panorama event, retasting the 2015 a year after barreling.
Much closer to the final product than the press-focused barrel samples straight after harvest, could this be a way forward for Bordeaux?”
Louis Jadot is a Burgundy wine behemoth. Producing wines in over a quarter of the region’s 600 appellations, they really are one of the biggest players in Eastern France’s long and winding wine heartland. Recently I met Fred Barnier, the man charged to continue the traditions of this 150 year old business, with a brief to do absolutely nothing! Well, kind of…
I was recently in Bordeaux for a press trip courtesy of the Bordeaux Wines council. A great trip focusing on the great things that are happening in Bordeaux away from the Grand Cru Classés that everyone thinks is all Bordeaux is about. On that trip we headed up to Canon Fronsac, on Bordeaux’s right bank, to see Chloe and Axel, a girlfriend and boyfriend team rejuvenating Château Mazeris-Bellevue. How did they get this switched on at this age? I’ve no idea! Wonderful pair, super talented, and neither too bad on the eye either 😉
For my latest piece in The Buyer, I wrote up a couple of tastings I’d been to recently where Malbec, everyone’s favourite steak wine, played a major role. From America to Africa to Europe, Malbec around the world is pushing forward great guns. It’s a great time to be a Malbec lover!!
I recently got the invite to head off to Southern France for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Foncalieu Wines, one of the largest co-operative wine makers in the region. I was um-ing and ah-ing about what I’d find to write about over there, but thanks to the immaculately afro’ed Romain, I found my angle…here’s my latest piece in The Buyer about the changing attitudes of Co-op Wineries!